This year so far has seen a veritable flurry of activity.
The start of 2019 saw Dawn of Elysium release its second album “Raven”, expand from a 3-piece to a 4-piece and play a kick-ass launch party at February’s Carpe Noctum, where we rather nervously followed the formidable Sometime The Wolf. It was an awesome night and great to play to a reasonably full house. The album has been well received and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved with it. It’s a much shorter work than 2016’s Time and Tide but much more complex in a few ways, with many layers. A lot of work and energy has been put into it and its completion saw me somewhat spent.
I’m not entirely sure how we are going to follow it up just yet. The beginnings of writing sessions with our new guitarist Tim Furze have shown some promise. However, I am minded that we should not merely do “more of the same” and that somewhat of a paradigm shift in sound is required. I am sensing frustrating times ahead to some degree but we’ll get there I’m sure.
On the live front, it has been a different story. We played a mini tour over the spring bank holiday weekend, which saw us play 3 consecutive dates in 3 cities over 3 days. This was very exciting and great for us to be spreading our wings a little. Of the dates we have booked in 2019, there are no plans as yet to play in our home city of Bradford. This may change but at present, we feel it is more fulfilling for us to play in different places. So far this year, we have played Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester and our next one is in Scarborough.
Crash Scene Flowers has continued to roll along, jamming and writing. We have become a very tight knit unit both creatively and personally. I have not had as many laughs in a band in years. We gel so well together, it’s unreal. Our set is expanding bit by bit and we managed to play at one of The Underground open-mic nights a couple of weeks ago. At just six songs, we still need a little more material before we can gig proper but we’re not so far off. The set was well received and we managed to get some footage. The audio was recorded by Dave Godby, multi-tracked from the desk and so I took it home and produced/mixed it. I was very pleased with the results. Video was filmed by Phil Pollard using a mobile phone. At least it’s the beginnings of us getting out of the rehearsal room. We have more gigs coming up over the August bank holiday weekend, where we play Scarborough and Idlefest. I am still itching to get into the studio and do some recording proper. We’re just waiting until the timing is right for us all.
Regarding Scarborough, it deserves more of a mention. Over the last 3 years or so, Emma and I have made quite a few new friends in Scarborough and have come to know the local scene to some degree. We get over there whenever we can, although visits seem short and few. Seeking a gig over that way, I got in touch with one of the main music venues “The Apollo” and booked Dawn of Elysium in for a support slot in October. However, this was expanded on and we were then invited to play at a goth all-dayer on 17th August called “Shadow Of The Castle“. Since this, I have been in touch with the promoters at The Apollo fairly frequently online and in conversation I happened to joke that with all of the Bradford bands I was recommending, I could probably fill an all day event with some great bands. She told me to go for it and thus the idea for “Bradford By The Sea” was born. After the 2016 gig at the 1in12, I really didn’t want to do any more events. However, this was a chance to take some great Bradford talent and put it in another town and the team at The Apollo had been lovely. It is at the time of writing a work in progress but there are a good half dozen acts confirmed with a good mix of sounds. More news on this as it unfolds but it is scheduled to take place on Saturday 24th August. Interest has been high and I suspect there will be quite a few making the journey over to the coast for this one. I have personally felt a connection with Scarborough for many years and always look forward to returning. The people are amazing and we always have a whale of a time.
In addition to Dawn of Elysium and Crash Scene Flowers, I have recently joined Bradford punk legends Threshold Shift. These guys have been together on and off with various line-ups since 1988 and have been very dear friends of mine for the last decade or so. It’s early days and we’ve just had the one session so far but it gelled straight away and we got a good half dozen numbers together. We are gonna get together as and when we can and hope to be playing reasonably soon. It was great to be playing a bit of punk rock again and look forward to rocking it live.
All of the above has seen me very busy and studio projects take a bit of a back seat. I love studio work when the inspiration takes me but sometimes, it is not as forthcoming. It’s exacerbated by the fact that my day job involves a lot of close computer work and sometimes my eyes and head are done in after the working day. There are a few things I need to catch up on regarding studio work, comprising projects for/with friends, solo work, developing ideas for Dawn of Elysium and finishing off the editing and mixing of the Crash Scene Flowers live footage. My head just hasn’t been in the game for a little while and the live work has been a welcome antidote. I am hoping to redress this balance in the coming weeks and it has been plaguing me that I have been letting people down, especially one person in particular for whom I care deeply and is having a rough time of it of late. As busy as I am, I don’t forget.
Of course, none of the above could happen without good work and home life and I am very happy to say that both are fantastic. I am loving my job immensely and house and home are wonderful. I have some beautiful friends and family around me and life is very positive right now 🙂
Hope you are all enjoying the summer!